Stephen Baxter, Ultima
(Roc Aug 2015)
The second half of a two-part novel begun in Proxima, this grand space opera continues the story with some alternate histories, with characters finding themselves in a universe where Rome never fell, some taken to join a spaceship full of legionaries, slaves, and Roman functionaries headed back to an alternate Terra. And then there are Incas in space, and the End of Time, too. ‘‘From one point of view, the alternate-histories tours are the in-flight movies on the way to this destination…The frame is indeed striking, but it was the portraits inside it that I found most compelling.’’ [Russell Letson] First published in the UK by Gollancz.
R. S. Belcher, Nightwise
(Tor Aug 2015)
Urban fantasy gets dark and gritty with this noir tale, in which legendary mage Laytham Ballard tries to fulfill an old friend’s dying request to find and eliminate an escaped Serbian war criminal – a quest that leads from Wall Street to Washington DC and further into magical realms.
Jonathan Carroll, Teaching the Dog to Read
(Subterranean Press Aug 2015)
A master at mixing fantastic elements and the mundane, Carroll here spins a tale of dreamers who miss their dreams when they come true. Tony Areal wins Lena, the woman of his dreams, but ends up trading away his nighttime with her to another Tony, who wins Lena’s heart – but Lena has different dreams of her own, and complications start to pile up.
Ellen Datlow, ed., The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Seven
(Skyhorse/Night Shade Books Aug 2015)
Noted editor Datlow returns a summation of horror in 2014, and her pick of the best 22 stories, by authors including Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Garth Nix.
Aliette de Bodard, The House of Shattered Wings
(Roc Aug 2015)
The War in Heaven came to Earth in Paris in the 20th century and left much of the city in ruins. House Silverspires, once one of the most powerful Great Houses, struggles against enemies within and without in this mix of mystery and the supernatural. ‘‘A novel that is both haunting and original, its sense of loss almost palpable, and its setting not quite like anything else in modern fantasy.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Tananarive Due, Ghost Summer: Stories
(Prime Books Sep 2015)
The range of Due’s talents are displayed in this collection of 15 often-interlinked stories, one original, with notes on each by the author. ‘‘Tananarive Due exercises the ability to shake readers to the core with visceral imagery and by asking penetrating questions, for which horror literature is so perfect a medium.’’ [Laird Barron]
Dave Duncan, Irona 700
(Open Road Aug 2015)
A simple fisherman’s daughter is chosen by a goddess to become one of the rulers of an empire in this fantasy novel following 40 years in the life and career of Irona, the Chosen of the year 700, who blossoms under special training and turns out to be skilled at both warfare and politics – which she needs to hold off her enemy, Maleficence, the god of evil.
David Farland, ed., L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 31
(Galaxy May 2015)
The annual showcase for the writing contest presents 13 original stories by contest winners, plus three reprint stories by Larry Niven, Hubbard, and Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, three essays on writing and illustration by Hubbard, Orson Scott Card, and Bob Eggleton, and art by Illustrators of the Future winners.
Cecelia Holland, Dragon Heart
(Tor Sep 2015)
Holland, a noted author of historical fiction, turns her eye for detail to a fantasy novel about a sea dragon, a princess who can’t talk, a castle by the sea, and a conquering empire determined to take over.
Bruce Sterling, ed., Twelve Tomorrows: MIT Technology Review SF Annual 2016
(Technology Review Aug 2015)
The fourth volume of this prestigious anthology series presents a new set of 11 SF tales based on current thought in science and technology, plus a color gallery of art by Virgil Finlay. Authors include Charles Stross, John Kessel, and Bruce Sterling.
Harry Turtledove, We Install: and Other Stories
(Open Road Aug 2015)
Turtledove’s talents extend beyond alternate history, as demonstrated in this collection of 12 stories, including Hugo-winning novella ‘‘Down in the Bottomlands’’.
Catherynne M. Valente, Speak Easy
(Subterranean Press Sep 2015)
A fantasy novella with elements out of ‘‘The 12 Dancing Princesses’’ set in the Jazz Era, at the hotel Artemisia, home to a cast of characters out of fairy tales, and the wild Zelda Fair, based on Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.